Monday, August 23, 2010

Limbo, Laundry, and Paddington Bear

Days since hubby deployed:75-not quite half way
On my reading list:
On Writing by Stephen King (I'm savouring this one, reading bits at a time and loving it)
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Eagerly awaiting: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Really eagerly awaiting)
Current Work in Progress- Adult fiction (something different!)- 15,000 wds and counting.

The evening's silence has descended(well, sorta- the dog is whining to go out and the cat is crying to come in), and I do believe my blood pressure has come I'm taking the time to sit and write a few thoughts. The kids have been home from camp for all of about fifty hours and I'm already starting to feel frazzled. And really, it has nothing to do with the kids. Well, it has something to do with the kids, but it has everything to do with the dog. And hubby being gone now for over two and a half months. And being a physiotherapist at a busy clinic. And being a writer who hasn't enough time to write. And kids being kids- mess-making, sibling-picking, chore-grumbling, taxi-needing, money-gobbling kids.

As most of you know by now, my youngest has type one diabetes (ie.Jeuvenile diabetes-insulin dependent), so sending her to a non-diabetes camp was a bit of a leap of faith on my part. We have tried to give her a normal life since diagnosis two and half years ago. However, anything more than a sleepover requires alot of work, and a wholelotta trust. There are blood tests, carb counts, and pump site changes to be considered. But...if brother and sister were going to camp, so was she. And the best part about this camp--it was free to kids of deployed personnel. Yup. F-R-E-E. Well, except the medication that they gave my kid without my permission..but that's another story and I don't want this to be a camp-bashing blog.

So. Seven days without kids, without blood tests and the immediacy of diabetes, without fighting siblings, and constant taxiing...was pure bliss. I needed it. I'd like to say I cleaned the house from top to bottom, but NOPE. I didn't. I wrote. I read. I ate brie and rosemary foccacia. I hung out with my sister. And I slept. True respite.

All good things must come to an end.

I could suck it up, and act all happy and gushy, saying this is "sooo easy!"(said in an annoying high pitched voice)...but I want to be honest here. It's not. Two and half months of living in the limbo of deploymentland is getting to me. Things are starting to break down around the house. The pool vacuum started to spew sand instead of picking it up. My new laptop has not returned from the Geek squad guys, and the old one is painfully slow. Our prehistoric PC refuses to accept the internet stick. Our stockpiled lawntractor gas is gone. We're out of garbage tags, the bathroom sink is plugged, we have ants, and wasps, and a squirrel nesting somewhere our vents. The cat ran away for 5 days. And then the kids came back from camp with seven days worth of filthy laundry. Individually, these things would not bother me. Together, and combined with my partner/love/best friend being 8000km away...not so much.

I know, everyone wants to hear the socially acceptable: "Oh, I KNOW! I can't believe it's been almost three months!!!! Time is going so FAST!!!! We're all doing so well! :) We're almost halfway!!!" (complete with extra exclamation points and smiley faces) And really, the statements minus the expressions are true. But the glass can be half full or half empty- and the context in which you look at that glass determines the description.

I remember sitting with my friend, a few years ago, talking about what it means to be a military family. She was employed by the Military Family Resource Centre, and I was the Chairperson of the Board of Directors. We were working on deployment programming, I think; trying to help the younger members and their families cope with deployment stress. Somewhere in the conversation one of us used the phrase "Suck it up, princess!" God, I hate that phrase now. I HATE that I used it. I am ashamed that it even came up in our conversation. Deployed spouses should not be told to suck it up. Deployed spouses should be championed. They should be supported. They should be loved.

Anway, today was one of the days when the glass was half empty. It rained. The dog ate the butter out of the dish on the table. He ripped up his LLBean dog bed. Dirty laundry is still piled everywhere. The kids bickered. My daughter's post-camp blood sugars are completely out of whack. And I was a less than stellar mom through it all.

But tonight as the kids went to bed, they asked if mom would read them a book. Book reading used to be part of the bedtime ritual...but the kids read so much now (8 year old is reading HP and the Half Blood Prince), that I find it's hard to keep up with them. They chose tonight's book: The Paddington Bear story. It was wonderful. Snuggles, and memories of our visit to Paddington Station, what a great end to the day.

I came down and joined in on a little online chat with WriteOnCon organizers. More happy thoughts. And now I'm doing the thing that seems to be keeping me sane these days...writing for you.

Only three and a half months to go.



Melissa Gill said...

Man, Brenda, I can't believe all you're coping with. I have no idea what it would be like to have any one of those things (except I do have a f/t job). I don't really know what to say, except good luck for a speedy end to the next three and a half months.

Overdunne said...

Oh, thank you Melissa! I do tend to rant here, but it's very therapeutic. I joke with my co-workers about the never-ending chaos of my life! Luckily I have a loving husband and bright, affectionate children to keep things light.

Thank you for commenting! :) Brenda

Lynn said...

Sorry things have been so hectic. Try to keep your chin up. I can't imagine for one moment how difficult this must all be. Again, I love your writing. Thanks for sharing.